The greater Madison community is invited to the Overture Center on Friday, March 3, to celebrate the rich roots of Latino art in culture at the 9th Annual Latino Art Fair. What started initially in the main lobby of Centro Hispano as a smaller affair has since expanded over the years and will be returning to the Overture’s Promenade Hall and Terrace to share art, crafts, food, music, and culture.
Oscar Mireles, executive director of Latinos Organizing for Understanding and Development (LOUD), spoke to the roots of the event as the LOUD organization is working as a co-presenter of the fair.
“The Latino Chamber at the time was trying to really tap into entrepreneurship, and Latinos have always been entrepreneurial,” Mireles said. “Part of it was tapping into what was going on, and providing a venue and a space so that they could bring people to see their artwork. By doing it in a fair, you could bring together 15 to 20 artists. You’d like to go see a studio, but when you bring all the art, you sort of bring the arts together as a group.”
Julia Arata-Fratta was one of those active in the Latino Chamber of Commerce at the time of the first Latino Art Fair, and the current Chamber executive director, Jessica Cavazos, has helped with the transition to the Overture Center and keeping the event thriving coming into its 9th year. What may be even more compelling than the longevity and location will certainly be what the night has to offer in terms of food, artwork, and entertainment.
“It’s a wide range of different kinds of kinds of art,” said Mireles discussing the diversity of artwork that will be at the Overture Center. ”The message I’m trying to share is, Latino art is everything that you don’t think it is. There’s no one kind of Latino art.”
The 9th Latino Art Fair will include talented artists from throughout south central Wisconsin who will exhibit and sell their artwork which will include paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, music and more. Artists, photographers, and craftspersons will include Jessica Gutierrez, Nabil Hamdan, Carlos Raul, Angelica Contreras, Chele Ramos, Tanay Rivera, Jorge Luis Santana, Tomy Tepepa, Alexander Punguil, Mayra Tepepa, Victor Figueroa, Zues Corona, and Edgardo Lugo.
The Arcatao Sister City Worker Cooperative will also be present as well as Desserts by Gina Nieves, Fruit Artisanry by Eder Valle, and music by Cumbiacachaca.
The night will be full of fun and intrigue, along with an opportunity to purchase some great artwork and other products to support local Latino artists. An opportunity that Mireles echoes as an important piece of getting the community out and engaged by asking, “If we don’t support the arts, who’s gonna support the art? So we have to be art patrons.”
To see more artists who will be present and learn more about the 9th Latino Art Fair, check out the Overture Center page here.